Portia de Rossi Bringing Art To The Masses

Art is always a popular subject and there are often numerous art galleries found in cities across the world. But there is often a feeling that art is the realm of those who can both afford it and afford to go see it. The recent auction of the Modigliani nude saw it sell for $157.2m at Sotheby’s, which set an auction house record.

But most artwork by popular artists, whether old or new, often remains in galleries that specialise in them, which often require travel to see. Many are often found to be centred in London, home to world famous galleries such as the National Gallery, Tate Gallery, Tate Modern, National Portrait Gallery and much more.

The surprising orchestrator behind bringing art to a wider audience is Australian-American actress Portia de Rossi. The actress, famous for her roles on Ally McBeal, Arrested Development, Scandal and more.

Making Art Consumer Friendly

Her new consumer-art company, General Public, has been created to help revolutionise the market. Using a special process that was developed by de Rossi, in conjunction with Fujifilm, General Public will produce three-dimensional reproductions of artwork. It is a mix or both original painting and print, which will allow artists the ability to distribute their work directly to an audience while ensuring they receive high quality reproductions.

The collaboration with the artists will feature Synographs, which are textured prints, which are perfect for any budding art collector with a budget or time constraint. These are created using 3D printers that will imitate the artists, even down to the physical texture of the artwork, meaning that each piece will be the same aesthetically as what the original work is.

One of the main reasons for de Rossi doing this is so that art becomes democratised along with allowing creators to get value out of their work. It will also allow more people to experience good art without having to visit a gallery, or have to pay the hefty price tags associated with popular artwork. The motto of the new company is “Support artists, not art”.

This is because, as de Rossi explained in an email to artnet News, painters are still often controlled by galleries who decide which artists to promote. As such, often their work remains stuck in a building and becomes unseen by a large portion of people who may like to either view it or buy it.

It is particularly stifling for the art world when compared to other art forms such as music where technology such as the phonograph, MP3 players, and to an extent we would personally argue streaming, have revolutionised the music world by allowing music to become easily accessible to the masses.

Working with a range of emerging and established artists, General Public offers a range of prints that have been selected personally by de Rossi and a group of advisers. But there are also reproductions of works that are in the public domain available along with anonymous works. The average price of a print is only $1,000, which seems reasonable when considering the price tag of the Modigliani work that sold!

To find out more, visit the General Public website.

Sources:

https://news.artnet.com/market/portia-de-rossi-general-public-art-1285454

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/portia-de-rossi-tells-us-all-the-details-of-general-public-her-new-innovative-art-company

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/may/14/modigliani-nude-auction-sothebys-new-york-record

Sarah Jubb